Santa Marianita beach in Manta - Ecuador, is the point where Ecoplayas focuses its energy to carry out an environmental education program, with the slogan #LlevateTuBasura where citizens are urged to be aware of taking their waste and not leaving it on the beaches, creating disorder and pollution everywhere.
Within our social responsibility and care for the environment, we support the initiative of Ecoplayas committed to climate change, cleaning the beaches makes us deeply aware, the beach ecosystem is closely related to the dry forests that we have as a priority to care for and protect as it is the home of Palo Santo.
On August 14, the second minga was held in Punta La Barca, we went very early in the morning, to clean approximately 500 linear meters of beach, the minga was developed with the participation of young representatives of various groups, such as Mingas Por el organizations. Mar, Purissima, Young people for change and the Positive Thinking group. Young people from all over, united for the same cause, clean the beach and educate visitors and locals about the serious consequences of leaving our waste in the sand.
Two groups were established, in the first, they were dedicated to collecting garbage on the beach and the second group focused on collecting microplastic with the help of some Maya with tiny holes that collect this type of waste.
WHAT IS THE GOAL OF LAS MINGAS?
- Cleaning the beaches as a form of environmental remediation, action, and fieldwork is essential, you cannot draw attention only with words, you must demonstrate your commitment with actions, plans for the execution of mingas, which in this specific case are bimonthly.
- Deduce what type of waste is found on the beach and raise awareness among those responsible. Many of the waste is from tourists, fishermen, and locals. The message #LlevateTuBasura is intended for them.
- Contrast as time progresses, the effectiveness of the Ecoplayas awareness campaign, which are the changes that have been generated both at the level of mingas, dissemination of content on networks, management among groups, talks to tourists, and other actions that they are somehow making a change.
The minga lasted about an hour, it seems little, but you know something, the amount of garbage is still palpable, such as cans of beer or other alcoholic beverages, cigarette butts, plastic bags, fishermen's rope, cardboard, among other waste.
But there is something very sad, personally, I was very sorry, and it is that inside the minga the presence of noodles or microplastic could be detected, also known as mermaid tears, with some small, light-colored, tiny balls, yes you are not very observant you do not notice them, or they confuse them with the sand. This microplastic has spent a long time in the ocean, it has shrunk and become tiny, much of that microplastic is in the ocean, and much of it is washed away by ocean currents and ends up on beaches.
Unfortunately, these plastic particles are confused with food, and animals such as turtles and fish consume this plastic and die of starvation. Their bodies make them believe that they are full when they are not really eating.
Seeing the amount of microplastic scattered on the sand seemed like a never-ending task since in each minga it will be evident to find these particles scattered throughout the sand. That affirms that change, is now or never, there is no time, there is simply no time to wait. If we want to save our beaches, our oceans, the remediation is right now. Therefore, the message is clear, no more garbage abandoned on the beach, whenever you find someone who leaves their waste say #TakeTuBasura.
We have participated in two mingas developed by Ecoplayas, the first one carried out on June 12, 2021, a result of 166.5 kg of garbage collected was obtained, while, in the second minga carried out on August 14, 2021, a total of 20.7kg of garbage collected. This shows that the campaign is moving steadily forward, moving ahead in the right direction. Well, in the margin of two months, the garbage has decreased, this is a path that must be walked with a firm footing, this is very gratifying.
AWARENESS TALKS ON THE BEACHES
This last month, we have accompanied Ecoplayas giving awareness talks on the days when more visitors are observed on the beach, to be more direct, break the barrier of social networks, and talk from you to you, making known what it is. to keep the beaches clean, the consequences of leaving garbage in the sea, and firmly educate that it is a commitment of all to protect the ecosystem of the beaches. Through comparison, the effectiveness of the campaign has been verified, which has indicated that in two months the amount of contamination has dropped significantly.
This is a work of perseverance, there is still a long way to go to meet the goals that Ecoplayas has set for itself, to continue educating until this can become a good habit for all citizens. Sometimes it seems that little is done, but great triumphs are built on small facts. You know something, the results are clear, little by little less waste is being found, I know that at some point we will achieve an educated citizenry that feels ashamed of leaving their garbage.
You will see, we will make it!
A PILOT CAMPAIGN TO BE REPLICATED ON OTHER BEACHES
Santa Marianita is the place of origin where the Ecoplayas project is developed, with the purpose that after seeing the results of the #LlevateTuBasura campaign, this activity is replicated in other beaches of the city of Manta, and of course, it is taken from the example in other cities and is replicated as part of a public policy that protects the ecosystem of all beaches.
I will already tell you how the future mingas we will be accompanying will be, and how this beautiful program in which Ecuadorianhands participates is being developed, if you want to know more about what Ecoplayas is, click here.